The Russian guided missile frigate, the Admiral Gorshkov, is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, ostensibly heading toward the east coast of the United States, part of a planned journey which began on 4 January 2023 and is expected to transit the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. The Admiral Gorshkov is outfitted with 16 vertical launch tubes, each of which, in theory, could be armed with nuclear-capable Zircon hypersonic missiles capable of covering 1,000 kilometers in less than 10 minutes. To put it bluntly, soon Russia will be in a position where a single ship could, in a matter of minutes, fire 16 nuclear armed hypersonic missiles at the United States which not only cannot be intercepted by anything in the US arsenal, but also would impact their respective targets before any meaningful evacuation could be conducted. It is, literally, a decapitation weapon.
When the United States involves itself militarily in a conflict, it often finds it hard to get itself out, let alone avoid deep entanglements that blow well past lines it had drawn at the start of the intervention. It happened in Vietnam, when U.S. military advisers helping the South Vietnamese fight Viet Cong eventually became U.S. soldiers fighting an American war. It happened in Afghanistan, when an initial invasion to capture al-Qaida and overthrow the Taliban morphed into a nearly two-decade-long nation-building project. And it could be happening right now in Ukraine. Little by little, NATO and the United States are creeping closer to the catastrophic scenario President Joe Biden said “we must strive to prevent” — direct conflict between the United States and Russia.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has just issued its 2023 Doomsday Clock statement, calling this “a time of unprecedented danger.” It has advanced the hands of the clock to 90 seconds to midnight, meaning that the world is closer to global catastrophe than ever before, mainly because the conflict in Ukraine has gravely increased the risk of nuclear war. This scientific assessment should wake up the world’s leaders to the urgent necessity of bringing the parties involved in the Ukraine war to the peace table. So far, the debate about peace talks to resolve the conflict has revolved mostly around what Ukraine and Russia should be prepared to bring to the table in order to end the war and restore peace. However, given that this war is not just between Russia and Ukraine but is part of a “New Cold War” between Russia and the United States, it is not just Russia and Ukraine that must consider what they can bring to the table to end it.
Northampton, Massachusetts - Around 20 demonstrators gathered in front of the Northampton office of U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern on Thursday evening to protest the recent decision by the U.S. government to send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. The Biden administration announced the decision to send 31 Abrams tanks on Wednesday, as fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces approaches one year of conflict. Germany also announced on the same day that it would send 14 Leopard 2 tanks on the same day, with 62 tanks in total being sent from NATO-allied nations to support Ukraine, as reported by the Associated Press. The protesters gathered in front of McGovern’s office on Thursday to denounce the decision, saying the U.S. should focus on diplomacy and negotiations instead.
Founded in 2011, CELAC, or the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, is a multilateral group of 33 countries from across the Western Hemisphere that excludes Canada and the United States It was created to be an alternative forum for Latin American countries. Inaugural leaders, such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, envisioned the group as a counterweight to the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS), which they viewed as dominated by the United States. CELAC, unlike the OAS, allows Cuba to be a member. Its stated goals are to promote regional integration and cooperation. CELAC represents 600 million people. The Seventh Summit of CELAC leaders was held Tuesday, January 24 in Buenos Aires hosted by CELAC President Pro-Tempore Alberto Fernandez, current President of Argentina.
United States plans for aggression and disruptions abroad are developed by current and former officials whose names may not be well known. They often leave government positions to become fellows at a plethora of think tanks that are connected to high level policy makers. It is important to know what they are saying, as their words have an impact on US foreign policy decisions. Michael Rubin is currently a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) , the rightwing think tank in Washington, DC, that mostly disseminates a neoconservative interventionist agenda, and where Rubin spends his time churning out misleading information and lies about the Red Sea State of Eritrea and the Horn of Africa. Rubin was a Pentagon staffer from 2002 to 2004, and an advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority during America’s disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Ukraine’s Western-backed leader Volodymyr Zelensky sent a love letter to US companies, thanking “such giants of the international financial and investment world as BlackRock, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs” for buying up his country’s assets. “Everyone can become a big business by working with Ukraine”, he enticed, claiming that the reconstruction of his nation “will be the largest economic project of our time in Europe”. Zelensky likewise praised the Starlink company of billionaire Elon Musk for its technological support, and he called for more Western weapons shipments, including Patriot missiles and Abram tanks. The Ukrainian leader delivered these remarks in a January 23 video address to US corporate lobby group the National Association of State Chambers. “We are defending freedom and property”, Zelensky declared, portraying the proxy war between NATO and Russia in Ukraine as a battle for the soul of the Western-led capitalist order.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Tuesday that Germany and its allies are “fighting a war against Russia” in rare candid remarks about the Western role in the conflict. Baerbock made the comments at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, while discussing the criticism her government has faced for its hesitancy to send tanks, although that impasse has been broken as Berlin confirmed Wednesday it will send its Leopard 2 tanks. “And therefore, I’ve said already in the last days — yes, we have to do more to defend Ukraine. Yes, we have to do more also on tanks,” Baerbock said. “But the most important and the crucial part is that we do it together and that we do not do the blame game in Europe, because we are fighting a war against Russia and not against each other.”
Social movements from across Peru are protesting outside the US embassy in Lima to condemn the US role in the coup against Pedro Castillo. The main chant from protesters is, “Yanqui murderers, get out of Peru!” “We’re here because we love our country (..) that’s why we’re here outside the US embassy because we know that it was through the US embassy that Dina Boluarte and [Prime Minister] Otarola made deals to be protected by that country,” said one protester from the Sandia province, Puno. “The US embassy has always tried to control us (..) we’ve had enough of being dominated by the US, we want to be a free country, a free Peru, with sovereignty. We mustn’t surrender, this mobilization is in defense of our natural resources, to close congress, the resignation of Dina Boluarte, a new constitution, general elections”, said another protester to Radio Pachamama.
On January 24, the 7th Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will be held in Buenos Aires, attended by around 15 presidents of the region, including Lula da Silva, and chaired by the host Alberto Fernández. It is obvious how important it is for Argentina’s government that the CELAC Summit be successful, with the delicate internal political situation that the country is going through, with a presidential election on October 22. That the summit and the transfer of the pro tempore presidency (to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, an ALBA member country) go well would help improve the image of Argentina throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. However, the Latin American right wing, hand in hand with the US State Department and its intelligence agencies, are conspiring to prevent the development of CELAC, strengthened recently with the addition of the progressive governments of presidents Gustavo Petro in Colombia, Gabriel Boric in Chile, and Xiomara Castro in Honduras—a country that will soon join ALBA.
On Tuesday, 33 countries of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) signed the "Buenos Aires Declaration," through which they pledged to deepen integration, climate action, democratic institutions, and multilateralism. The 111-point agreement highlights the importance of consolidating Latin America as a zone of peace, advancing food security, and deepening cooperation in health. At the close of the event, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, highlighted the efforts that Argentina and Mexico made to consolidate CELAC in 2022. "We will work for peace, social justice, prosperity, and security for all," he said upon receiving the CELAC pro tempore presidency.
In this livestream interview, Lee Camp speaks with Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of the female-led anti-war group CODEPINK. Benjamin has been on a tour of late, discussing her most recent book, “War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict.” The book delves into the ongoing conflict and aims to raise awareness and inspire grassroots activism to prevent a potential World War III. The interview begins with Camp mentioning some of his previous interviews with notable figures such as Julian Assange’s wife, Stella, and Julian’s father, John Shipton. Camp then plays a video of Benjamin’s most recent disruption, which took place at an event hosted by a Washington think tank and featuring Adam Smith, the hawkish head of the House Armed Services Committee. In the clip, Benjamin can be heard shutting down Smith’s speech and bringing attention to the dangers of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the potential for nuclear war.
It is always the same when Japanese premiers travel to Washington to summit at the White House. Nothing seems to happen and nobody pays much attention even when important things happen, when we should all pay attention, and, when we do pay passing attention, we usually get it wrong. In January 1960, when Premier Nobusuke Kishi visited Washington, President Eisenhower blessed the war criminal and signed a security treaty the Japanese public vigorously opposed. That week Newsweek marked Kishi down as “that friendly, savvy Japanese salesman.” Kishi proved a salesman, all right. Three years later he used armed police to clear the Diet of opposition legislators and force ratification of the Anpo treaty, as the Japanese call it, with members of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) the only ones present to vote on it.
According to what U.S. officials claim some anti-Kremlin fringe group in Russia was used by a Russian intelligence service to somehow send letter bombs from Valladolid, Spain, to some offices in Madrid. But why would Russian intelligence run such a nonsense campaign? Why would it use a problematic fringe group of Russian crazies to do so. Why in Spain? Why not in Poland, Germany or France? What is the evidence? None of those questions get answered. Instead rumors and hot air assumptions are put together to make the claims somewhat less outrageous. This is on the same level as the lies about 'weapons of mass destruction in Iraq' the Times printed 20 years ago. The addition of the implausible Skripal poisoning story and the false claims of 'Russian bounties' in Afghanistan does not help to make the story more convincing. There is no evidence that either happened at all.
ACERE, the Alliance for Cuba Engagement and Respect, announces the release of a letter to President Biden signed by prominent lawyers nationwide expressing concern over the continued placement of Cuba on the State Sponsors of Terrorism (SSOT) list. The letter, which was sent to the President today January 20th as he begins the second half of his term, highlights the lack of legal or moral justification for Cuba’s inclusion on the SSOT list, especially in light of the fact that it had been removed from the list just a few years prior by the Obama-Biden administration. The letter, which is signed by 160 lawyers, comes on the heels of a similar letter sent to the President by 18 former heads of state, as well as petitions signed by hundreds of civil society organizations and thousands of citizens, all calling for the United States to lift its embargo and for Cuba to be removed from the SSOT list.